I know it isn’t popular to force anyone doing things for free to do specific things, but after going through a small collection of my songs, and matching them to the DB, I find that many of those entries I look at, and which are a little problematic, seems to lack some vital information, among others: release year, label and catalog number. When I check the history on them they also seem to be chaotic and/or using dubious or deleted sources. I’m no expert on this database so I most often choose another album that fits the song I’m matching, or add a note here on the board. I do sometimes add new albums, but not if what’s already there obviously just needs to be cleaned up.
Release year is, when it’s not the new edition that you bought day one at the store or a Japanese edition with release year printed (with some rare exceptions), always very difficult to figure out.
Now when there is lack of details but many Disc IDs or the release is in several collections already, just ducats the release with only your Disc ID and all details from your edition.
IMHO the more you force people to enter additional data, the less they will contribute at all.
All three of this data fields are actually examples that often is difficult to get or is not available at all.
E.g. label can be quite tricky to figure out, even if one knows this was a release with label. Many releases don’t have a catalogue number or the packaging does not clearly indicate what the catalogue number is.
Also if you make it more difficult to enter data people will often choose not to enter data at all.
I know, but some information should be mandatory. And those that stops adding things because they get forced to add essential stuff are probably not those you want fooling around in a database like this anyway.
But you can only reliable make fields mandatory where you can assume the information for this field exists and is known. Both assumptions are wrong for many of the release fields
But it shouldn’t be unknown for the label, release year and catalog number. No matter how you add you need a source that source (albums or other sites on the net) will always have values for these 3 fields. If not, then your source is dubious at best.
Speaking from my own experience with MB. I thought I was knowledgeable about music and my collection. When I started tagging and adding releases, I found it was like learning a new “foreign” language. Learning and still learning the intricacies and nuances of this program is ongoing. Trying to get everything right is like trying to get your clothes out of the dryer without dropping a sock on the floor.
Fortunately, MB editors are very helpful with grooming noobs. As @outsidecontext said, making it more difficult could lead to fewer editors. Sure it is frustrating to see errors but in most cases it becomes satisfying making corrections and showing the editor what to do in a friendly and helpful manner.
The thing is that some people make guesses, or what not, and for those entries it’s all but impossible to correct, as you have no idea about their source (which in most of these cases are dubious or no longer exists). If you forced the editors to add at least the label and catalog number you will get ridd of a lot of mistakes, and the mistakes that do happen are easily correctable.
Here is what I said but in better explained:
When we force editors to input edit notes, we see many bad edit notes.
If we force fields that are difficult to find information for, we will end up with original release date for all editions or even random dates.
And “no data” is always better than “wrong data”.
“No data” is a call to research while “wrong data” is assumed correct.
I don’t understand how it’s difficult to find the label or catalog number, and thus the year of release. In what cases is that difficult? If you’re able to set up the correct list of songs, then you must have gotten that list somewhere. And that place would most certainly mention those fields I talk about, otherwise the source is garbage and shouldn’t be used. As good sources I would figure you include the album itself, Wikipedia, or other sites on the net. A list from grandpa really wouldn’t do.
Take a random example, then:
- Label: ISLAND
- Catalogue number(s): CID 8025 / 524 005-2
- Release date:
Apart from the oringial edition that you bought in stores the day of release, how could you
easily find the release date of each re-press?
Took me 10 seconds.
I got out my copy of “New Rock Record” by Terry Hounsome 2nd edition, just in case you wanted to test me.
I was trying to add release year yesterday for a release I physically own, and there was no date anywhere on the packaging or the medium. Discogs also has no date for it.
Band name and title?
It’s this one, which I finally found a date for on that site. But your claim that a good source (such as the original release) will always have those fields is not true. And no, we don’t expect people to always dig as much as I did for that one. I only found it when including the label in the search terms, and even then it wasn’t near the top.
I ended up creating a master release for it in discogs in the meantime because I found it there twice, first.
Released first time in 1960 on Reflections (correct name seems to be Red Sails In The Sunset). Sadly I couldn’t make a search on label or catalog number, since you didn’t include it. Would be easier if you gave me the information you had at the time.
That info is on the allmusic page I linked, but it’s here on MusicBrainz. I wasn’t looking for the track or the original release date, just the release date of the specific release I have.